Putin: Russia has enough missiles without violating treaty

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Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with the top military staff in the Russian Defense Ministry’s headquarters in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. Putin said that new Russian weapons have no foreign equivalents, helping ensure the nation’s security for decades to come. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

 

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday rejected the U.S. claim that Russia developed a new cruise missile in violation of a key nuclear treaty, arguing that Russia has no need for such a land-based weapon because it already has similar missiles on its ships and aircraft.

Washington warned this month it would suspend its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 60 days if Russia did not return to full compliance. The U.S. claims the 9M729 cruise missile breaches the INF, which bans all land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (300 to 3,400 miles.) Continue reading

Is A Russian-Iranian Energy Pact In The Making?

Oil Rigs

 

In the lead-up to President Rouhani’s visit to Moscow, expected to take place in late March, a plethora of news regarding joint Russo-Iranian energy projects has been circulating on the Internet. A three-year long negotiation process regarding a 100,000 barrels-per-day swap contract is believed to be agreed upon, premised on Iran providing Russia (most likely, Rosneft) oil from Kharg Island or other hubs in the Persian Gulf in return for cash and Russian goods that Iran would “require”. Teheran also woos LUKOIL, currently Russia’s only major oil producer in the Caspian, to participate in swap deals bound for Iran’s Neka Port (in return for Iranian crude provided from Kharg Island or other Persian Gulf hubs), albeit on a much smaller scale at 4000 to 5000 barrels per day. To top it all up, numerous Russian oil companies have committed themselves to developing Iran’s hydrocarbon fields. Continue reading

Russia Adds 111 Warheads Under Arms Treaty

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A Russian truck-mounted Topol intercontinental ballistic missile displayed at Moscow’s Red Square during the annual Victory Day parade in 2008 / AP

 

Moscow warheads above New START treaty limit

Russia has now deployed more than 100 nuclear warheads in its strategic arsenal above the limits set by the New START arms treaty limits—two years before it must meet treaty arms reduction goals.

New START nuclear warhead and delivery system numbers made public Oct. 1 reveal that since the 2010 arms accord went into force, Moscow increased the number of deployed nuclear warheads by a total of 111 weapons for a total of 1,648 deployed warheads. That number is 98 warheads above the treaty limit of 1,150 warheads that must be reached by the 2018 deadline of the treaty.

At the same time, U.S. nuclear warheads, missiles, and bombers have fallen sharply and remain below the required levels under the New START pact. Continue reading